How to Make Sure Your Background Check Process is Fair & Accurate

When it comes to background checks, fairness and accuracy are essential. Here's how to make sure your employee screening process is exactly that.

1. Make sure you run the same background checks for similar job titles/roles.

The types of background checks you run will likely be different based on the job a person is applying to. For example, you'll only run MVR checks on people who'll be driving on behalf of your company. For other jobs that don't require any driving, you wouldn't need to run the MVR check. Consistency is key. A good screening partner can help you determine the right background checks for the right people based on their titles/roles.

2. Make sure you communicate with candidates and employees about your background check process.

Effectively communicating with candidates and employees about your background check process is a good way to demonstrate its fairness. Why? Well, being open and transparent about the process helps people understand what to expect and what the process entails. Perception is reality, remember. If your background check process is shrouded in mystery, even if it's perfectly fair, it might not be perceived that way. Sharing your background check policy with candidates and employees will demonstrate your company’s commitment to fairness in the hiring process.

3. Make sure your background check process is compliant.

A background check process that is compliant with all relevant laws (federal, state, local) will go a long way in ensuring the process is fair since the point of so many of these laws is to protect people.

Keep in mind, however, that compliance is complex. It can be incredibly challenging (if not downright impossible) for a company to remain compliant without outside help or expertise. It makes sense to work with a background check partner that has a deep understanding of compliance issues as well as sound systems and technology to keep your company compliant, even as laws change.

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4. Make sure you regularly audit your background check process.

Employee screening isn't something you simply set up once and forget about. (Even though we do see companies make this critical mistake.) Employee screening must evolve with your company, and especially as laws change. So it's essential that you audit your background check process annually at the very least.

Think this is overkill? Ask Walgreens about the recent hit it took due to an inadequate background check process that didn't confirm the licensure of a pharmacist it employed.

5. Make sure your background checks are accurate.

Working with a screening partner who stands by the accuracy of their background checks is important. This is also another reason why you should work with a screening partner in the first place, rather than running background checks on your own, like the so-called "instant" criminal background checks you can buy online. "Instant" reports aren't truly accurate due to their lack of comprehensiveness and compliance. Remember, accuracy matters when you're dealing with a person's life and livelihood.

But how can you, the customer, tell if the background check vendor you're working with is providing accurate checks?

  • Ask how they approach compliance. They should be eager to explain the measures they take to ensure compliance.
  • Ask if they're accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). This is considered the gold standard in our industry.
  • Ask them to walk you through their background check process. The best thing a screening partner can do is walk your through its process—how they follow federal and state laws as well as FCRA and EEOC guidelines, what sources they use to obtain information, how they verify information, etc.

6. Don't sacrifice accuracy for speed.

We understand the pressures HR faces when it comes to filling empty seats faster. But sacrificing accuracy for speed is shortsighted. Instead, understand why some background checks take longer (and why, in some cases, this is a good thing). Then, implement smart and effective ways to reduce background check turnaround time.

Still have doubts about your current background check process? Let's Talk!

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Danielle Deutsch

Posted by Danielle Deutsch

Danielle is the Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator at Good Egg. In her spare time you can find her either visiting an aquarium, enjoying a Broadway show or competing in a Crossfit competition.

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